Known criminals incarcerated for festive season

By Damith Wickremasekera

Notorious criminals will be forced to spend the next few weeks in custody, as police attempt to help the public enjoy the upcoming festive season without becoming victims of robbery and theft, a senior police officer said.

Already more than 60 identified criminals involved in house breaking, stealing of vehicles, stereo setups, motorcycles, and those involved in chain snatching are among those rounded-up by the Colombo Crime Division (CCD), Director CCD Superintendent of Police D.R. L. Ranaweera told the Sunday Times.

He said the objective behind the rounding up of criminal elements was to ensure visitors to the metropolis during the upcoming Christmas and the New Year season to go about their seasonal activities without a hassle.

SP Ranaweera said among those arrested were notorious pick-pockets who operate along some of the main bus routes. “We have taken into custody at least four bus conductors who connived with the thieves. The modus-operandi of the conductors was to announce to passengers as they entered the bus that persons having valuables should be wary of from pick-pockets.

A common reaction of people carrying cash and other valuables was to check their pockets, handbags etc, giving the pick-pockets an indication where those valuables were stored.”, he explained. He added investigations revealed some of those involved in thefts at shopping complexes included well dressed females.

“These women seat themselves next to targeted persons who had made the purchases, involve them in conversation and subsequently make off with the purchased items”, he said.

SP Ranaweera advised shoppers not to keep valuables inside their unattended vehicles as thieves who had the ability to open the doors of these vehicles would make away with the items.

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